The Herd Mentality is partially about self preservation, according to the experts. I’ve been doing a bit more research on this interesting phenomenon, and I have found that there are many ways that we people herd along. It’s a fully human thing, not based on race from what I can tell. All races will do this following along thing. Within each group there may be certain types of following along that we do, but we all follow along one way or another.
For other non-expert observers, it is simply about being dumber than sheep.
What’s so interesting about this mentality is that it will turn on a dime. It can be going one way and if one brave person steps in to change the trajectory, it will change very quickly in another direction. What this suggests to me is that we humans are lily livered! LOL Most of us won’t do anything bold and different within a crowd setting. Most of us are in need of a bold one to come into our midst and do something different. Then we quickly jump off our old band wagon onto the new bandwagon, proudly proclaiming ourselves to be progressive! Yet showing ourselves to be wimps! Hey, I’m just sayin’!
The following example is interesting to me because of who eventually did help. Hmmm…..
The example below is so intriguing to me. It has been named “Shopping While Black”. Pay attention to this one. It’s not so much about the black woman who’s singled out for mistreatment by store staff while she’s shopping, but it’s all about how the white people in the store react to the sister’s mistreatment. Do they pretend not to see it? Do they come to the woman’s defense? When a brave white girl speaks up, watch how all the rest of the white folks then join in, becoming disgusted by the store’s mistreatment of the sister. This stuff is real, folks! Maybe what we all thought was racism is not racism after all, but the herd mentality! lol In addition, check out the reaction of people of color! Will they come to the sister’s defense? Hmmm…..
In another example, it gets a bit frightening, what humans will do to others simply because they are told to do so by someone “in authority”. The following link talks about a famous experiment done in the 1960s. It’s a very disturbing thing. This is how, I would say, mind manipulation so small, but so potentially deadly that’s shown in this example, can be the catalyst for something big, like the Jewish Holocaust and many such atrocities, or the ”African Holocaust”, called the Middle Passage, which included the kidnapping, chaining in holding pens, the chaining in the holds of ships for three months, the burning of flesh with brands, selling and enslavement of black African people. This one IS racism, far beyond it. (BTW, *ARIST does not necessarily agree with the politics of the following link)
So some experts feel that the indifferent way we act in crowds is based on the human’s aninalistic base brain. They feel that this tendency towards indifference is instinctual, and therefore we humans have no control over it. We just automatically fall into the line of indifference. If a person is writhing on the ground in a public place in obvious pain, and we see that no one else is helping that person, then automatically we won’t help either. For me this is so distasteful, but I do believe it happens. All day long everyday. But what part of the brain are we using when we do choose to stand up and stand out? When we do help a person in distress, even when the rest of the crowd is being indifferent?
Personally, I want to believe that I would step up and help and not just pass someone in distress by. I believe that I would help. But I have to admit, that I have passed homeless people by on the street many times. I’ve also stopped and given them money many times as well.
Maybe it all boils down to choosing the right type of herd to belong to. If it has to do with being mindless, then we can simply turn on our minds and make the conscious and corrrect choice. Maybe it can and should be that we are activists within our herd group, like Kekemichel of Black Female and Happy said in her response to my first posting on this subject.
Excerpt. read her entire answer here
Last, there will always be various types and numerous leaders and followers at every given moment. I think people tend to be part different groups and similar groups, and have many “leaders” therefore. However, more open-minded people tend to belong to various types of groups to support their various interests. It is true–those who have free minds are not followers, but are activists who help make things happen in their groups and movements. I think we should not be followers, but activists in movements and groups that represent our interests. Because, “follower” has a mindless connotation.
*Anna Renee is Still Talking